Wellbeing affects all aspects of an individual’s life. It has an impact on one’s physical health, performance, and potential for growth. Recognizing its indispensable value, the UAE government considers happiness as a priority and inspires people, institutions, and the broader community to cultivate wellbeing (https://www.happy.ae/en). At a university level, evidence-based approaches to learning contribute to promoting wellness initiatives.
In the spirit of building a positive university approach, Middlesex University in Dubai created a Taskforce on Happiness and Wellbeing in 2017, before opening the Wellness Office in September 2020. The Wellness Office aims to raise awareness around health by supporting, promoting, and enhancing activities that are connected to overall subjective wellbeing.
To date, our University’s wellbeing initiatives have included stress reduction, mindfulness, counseling & guidance, mental health awareness, resilience training, promotion of exercise and fitness, building self-confidence, work-life balance, anti-bullying, gratitude, and the normalization of help-seeking behaviour.
Our wellbeing policies are also aligned with our home campus in London (www.mdx.ac.uk/student-life/student-support). Upholding those policies, we provide both academic and personal support to our students. The Center for Academic Success (CAS) at MDX Dubai provides one on one attention to students who face learning disabilities, need help with academic skills, or require counselling.
Our aim is to build on the emotional strength and intellect of students which further helps them in flourishing physically, emotionally, mentally, and academically. In line with the Dubai government’s happiness agenda, we are aiming to measure the impact of our initiatives and sustain happiness for our students’ long-term psycho-social health.
The Wellness Office employs a cross-departmental approach to wellness, encouraging all staff and students to become involved in any of the key areas. Each year, different staff and students join us in strengthening our wellness offerings.